World Bulletin / News Desk
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday vowed to beef up national security agencies in the face of growing security threats faced by the country.
“We are in a tense security situation,” Merkel said in Berlin, after her visit to the Joint Counter-Terrorism Center (GTAZ) of the internal security agencies.
“There has been a significant increase in the number of risk situations,” Merkel said, after she received a briefing by top security and intelligence officials at the GTAZ.
“This must be addressed by hiring more personnel, equipping them better, and also by a set of legal regulations,” she added.
Merkel also underlined the need for closer international cooperation in countering terrorist challenges and expressed satisfaction in the improved cooperation with foreign partners.
The heads of the BfV and BND, Germany's domestic and foreign intelligence services, accompanied Merkel during her visit to the GTAZ, the center for the cooperation between nearly 40 internal security agencies.
German authorities are worried over a growing tendency towards violence among the far-right groups, as well as religious extremists connected to Salafist groups.
According to the BfV, Salafists constitute the majority of the foreign fighters who travelled from Germany to Syria and Iraq to join ISIL.
BfV’s director Hans-George Maassen told newsweekly Focus last week that the number of Salafists in Germany doubled over the last four years to reach 8,650.
He said around 800 religious extremists from Germany are known to have travelled to Syria, and around a third of them later returned to the country.
Maassen warned that Germany is one of the countries where ISIL wants to carry out attacks.